Butterflies & Candles Burning

Like the hourglass (pages 039 & 040), butterflies and burning candles are also symbols of life’s transience and therefore common in vanitas paintings. The butterflies here do not illustrate. They are loosely related to those found in our locality including the holly blue, small skipper, brimstone, clouded yellow and the green hairstreak, but they also morph into strange, contorted and oppressed forms.